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V. Rakitin


(b Sofiyevka, nr Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine, Jan 6, 1884; d Leningrad [now St Petersburg], Aug 14, 1939).

Russian painter, graphic artist and collector, of Ukrainian birth. He studied at the School of Art in Odessa (1896–1902) under Kiriak Kostandi (1852–1921) and at the Academy of Arts in St Petersburg (1902–8) under Il’ya Repin, who remained an important influence throughout his life. During the revolutionary years 1905 to 1907 Brodsky became famous as a political caricaturist and for his painting Red Funeral: The Funeral of the Victims of the Armed Attack on the Peaceful Demonstration in St Petersburg on 9 Jan 1905 (1906; St Petersburg, Acad. A., Mus.). From 1909 to 1911 he worked in Germany, France, Italy, Spain and Austria on a scholarship from the Academy. Brodsky’s landscapes and portraits of the period are generally traditional and academic in style.

In 1917 Brodsky drew a series of portraits of the members of the Provisional Government and in 1919 received first prize in the ‘Great Russian Revolution’ competition for his painting ...


David Elliott


(b Kursk, May 21, 1899; d Moscow, June 5, 1969).

Russian painter, graphic artist and designer. He studied at the Khar’kov Art School (1915–17), breaking off his studies to join the Red Army. By 1919 he had returned to Kursk, where he was designing the stencilled propaganda ROSTA posters that spread throughout the Russian Socialist Federal Soviet Republic following Mayakovsky’s original examples (see Agitprop). In 1921 he moved to Moscow and studied under Vladimir Favorsky at Vkhutemas (the Higher Artistic and Technical Workshops) until 1925. While still a student he worked on illustrations and designs for a number of new magazines such as Bezbozhnik (‘The Atheist’) or Prozhektor (‘Searchlight’).

In the mid-1920s Deyneka started to make easel paintings and became a leading member of the Society of Easel Painters (OST), which reflected advanced tendencies in representational painting rather than the literalism of the Wanderers. His major paintings of the period are The Defence of Petrograd (...


Ewa Mikina

(b Warsaw, Nov 15, 1922).

Polish painter and poster designer. He studied at the private studios of Tadeusz Pruszkowski (1888–1942) and Felicjan Kowarski in Warsaw between 1940 and 1942. From 1966 he lived in the USA. In 1949 Fangor exhibited his early portraits of Lenin and Einstein, among others. They were garish in colour and intentionally primitivist and brutalist in form. The Socialist Realist works from between 1950 and 1955 (e.g. Bricklayers, 1950, and Korean Mother, 1951) are monumental academic, programmatic paintings of a propagandist, poster-style character, occasionally featuring ambiguity and irony, as in Figures (1950). Fangor gained popularity as a poster designer, and when Socialist Realism went into decline he switched from programmatic simplifications to experimental simplicity (e.g. the street decorations for the 5th International Festival of Youth, Warsaw, 1955).

Fangor achieved fame in 1958 with the Warsaw exhibition Studium Przestrzeni (‘Study of Space’), in which he presented an environment operating on the principle of the after-image. He produced spatially interdependent abstract canvases and explored a temporal sequence of colour perception. This was further developed in the ...


Wojciech Włodarczyk

(b Wilno [now Vilnius, Lithuania], June 15, 1927; d Zakopane, March 23, 1957).

Polish painter and writer . He produced his first paintings under the supervision of his mother, the graphic artist Krystyna Wróblewska (b 1904). In 1945–52 he studied painting at the Academy of Fine Arts, Kraków, in the studios of Zygmunt Radnicki (b 1894), Zbigniew Pronaszko, Hanna Rudzka-Cybisowa (b 1897) and Jerzy Fedkowicz (b 1891). At the same time he studied the history of art and became involved in art criticism, publishing his exhibition reviews and polemical articles in cultural journals. From 1950, Wróblewski worked at the Academy of Fine Arts, Kraków. He exhibited from 1946 at exhibitions significant for contemporary Polish art, including the exhibition Sztuki nowoczesnej (‘Modern art’; Kraków, Pal. A., 1948) and the Wystawa młodej plastyki (‘Young plastic arts exhibition’) at the Arsenal, Warsaw (1955). Although during the 1940s Wróblewski produced only abstract compositions, he had a strong tendency towards realism, using a simple, but often ambiguous style. In ...